First read to children The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (Tanglewood Press). The story is about a little raccoon who is scared to go to school. His mom kisses his hand and tells him to put it to his cheek if he feels lonely during the day. For your reading, bring in a little stuffed raccoon, a stamp pad, and a stamp with lips or a kiss mark on it. At the end of the story, stamp each child's hand with a "kiss." When the children are out of the room have another teacher take the raccoon while you visit other adults such as the principal, secretary, custodian, librarian -- to stamp their hands with a "kiss." When your students return to your room, tell them the raccoon is lost. Line the children up and go looking around the school for it. Talk about each place you go and stop each adult to see if he or she has seen the little raccoon. Each adult should say, "Yes, I just saw him. He gave me a kiss on the hand (shows hand). I think he went towards" (point to next stop.) While you are touring the school, the raccoon is returned to your classroom. Bring children back from their tour. They will be relieved to see the little raccoon and will remember their special tour and the people they met.
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Sue LaBella, Education World's early childhood editor, is a former teacher who loves writing activities and poems for young children. She lives in Connecticut with her family and her bulldog named Daisy.
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Activities by Sue LaBella
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